Today is Ryan White Day. Not many people will know that name, but I do. Most people who recognize the name will associate his name with HIV/AIDS. He was the little boy in the 80's who contracted HIV. He became the face of HIV/AIDS activism and he was just a boy. He died when he was 18, but not before being expelled from school because of his disease and fighting to get back into school and eventually having to move school districts were he could go. Him and his family endured much personal attack by the ignorance of people at that time. People were scared and didn't understand what HIV/AIDS was.
What isn't as commonly known is that Ryan had hemophilia. He contracted HIV, from the tainted blood supply in the 80's. The blood supply back then was tainted with both hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. The majority of the hemophilia population contracted one of these nasty and deadly diseases while taking medication that was supposed to stop their bleeding due to their hemophilia and hopefully prolong their life. Instead, for so many, it was their end. Ryan and his mother fought hard to educate people. He died at the age of 18, his mom is still involved in activism.
As I sit here today and I watch the battle go back and forth about between pro vaccinators and the anti-vaccinators, I am saddened. So much hate is being spewed on either side and really the bottom line is that each parent should be able to make that decision for their family without government input. I know I have friends who are strong on both sides of that line, and I know some will disagree with me, but after seeing and having intimate knowledge of how HIV/AIDS was passed through the blood supply and how it was common knowledge by the CDC, and the WHO and medications were continued to be given that contained tainted blood to innocent people, I can not stand by and support government enforced vaccinations. We need education, we need transparency from our pharmaceutical companies, from our government, we need to have the freedom to choose what medications we put in our body, if any, we need to have an understand and respect for one another and not attack each other for the decisions we make for our family. My advice to new parents is to do what is best for their family, their whole family. Every one wants to give their opinion and sometimes you need to pray and make the decision you feel is best considering all the factors that influence your family.
On Ryan White Day, I look at my own son with hemophilia and I cannot imagine the pain Ryan's mother must have felt when he was diagnosed with HIV and then passed away years later. She did what she thought was best, what the doctors told her was best, what the pharmaceutical companies said was best, all while the knowledge that the blood supply was tainted was being kept from the public. I don't mean to scare anyone or be one of those paranoid people but I do want to say that as a parent I know my children better than the government. I owe it to my children to educate myself about their medications and make a well informed decision that meets their needs. It really doesn't matter what side of the vaccine debate I stand on, the real issue we don't need big government making these decisions for us.